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FEC postponed till January 22, released N1.2trn for capital projects

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“FG achieved 50% budget implementation”

To commission Itakpe-Warri, 8-coach diesel engine for Kaduna rail lines

 The federal government said Wednesday that it has achieved 50 percent budget implementation in the 2019 fiscal year with the release of N1.2 trillion capital expenditure.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, at the end of the over seven hours Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The minister said she briefed the Federal Executive Council on the activities of the ministry because ministers were asked to give account of their stewardship since their inauguration by the president a couple of months ago.

“The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has 11 mandate areas. First of all, in terms of revenue performance, the revenue performance curated to third quarter of 2019 is N4.25 trillion and that represents a performance of 81 percent, that is nine months curated not fully year.

The GDP that we planned for 2019 was 3.5 percent and the third quarter GDP reported as 2.28 percent.

“On expenditure we have been able to release all that is required for personnel, so the personnel services is on course and debts services is also on course.“On overheads we have been able to release eight months for general ministries, department and agencies (MDAs) and 11 months for some MDAs classified as critical and we are working on the 12th month.

This includes the security service, federal government unity colleges as well as the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and  the Prisons.

“So far as at last week, we have released upon N1.2 trillion in capital expenditure and that is 50 percent performance for the whole year 2019.

“And now that Mr. President has assented to the 2020 budget which is a major achievement for this government, it is clear that the 2019 budget is also a six month budget. So we have achieved 50 percent capital release for a 50 percent performance of the 2019 budget.“We have also been able to pass through the National Assembly the Finance Bill of 2019, the bill will be transmitted to Mr. President for his assent.“We have started the process of the new long term development plan, we prepared a road map, it is going to be subjected to various stakeholder reviews before we start the actual planning process,” she said.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, also spoke on the activities of the ministry in the last 100 days.“The ministry of petroleum had nine mandate areas. Today, we reported to council that we have achieved at least one of those mandate areas, which is the passage of the deep offshore amendment Act. We also reported that work is ongoing on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and that hopefully it will be passed into law by June next year.

 “We also reported that next year we will open the gas sector and a lot will happen in the gas sector in Nigeria. Rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery will commence in January and hopefully 2020 will be a very busy year for the oil industry in Nigeria,” he said.

Also speaking, Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Ameachi, said government would commission the Itakpe-Warri rail line in January 2020.“The essence of the mandates is to monitor performance and achievements and if you don’t meet your target, you run into trouble. For us, the mandate was essentially more on the side of railways, even though there are others in maritime. 

“On railways, we confirmed to the President that we’ll be bringing in a DMU, which is diesel engine for Abuja-Kaduna.

It will be eight coaches and two locomotives that will drive them. This is to reduce the pressure we have on the Abuja-Kaduna route.“Like I said before, we provided coaches for only 300 passengers because that’s what the experts told us when we did the research, but now we are carrying 3,700 passengers, we are increasing the number of coaches everyday.

 “We believe that the President will commission eight  new coaches and two new locomotives this January to carry passengers from Abuja to Kaduna and Kaduna back to Abuja.

“We also reported that we’ll be ready to commission Itakpe to Warri between January and April, depending on when the President will be available it.

“We’ve commenced trial-run on Lagos to Ibadan. The last time before tomorrow, we ran from Iju to Ibadan, by tomorrow we’ll start running from Agege to Ibadan. By the time we return from the holidays, we’ll be running from Ebute-meta to Ibadan.“We believe that we should have gotten to the seaport before April, this should reduce what you call the Apapa gridlock. We are finding solution to the Apapa gridlock” the minister said.



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FEC approves N836 million augmentation for 38 coronavirus oxygen plants

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The meeting was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday
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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N836 million as augmentation for the establishment of oxygen production plants for COVID-19 pandemic intervention across the country.

Newsmen report that the council had in June approved N5.615 billion to four major contractors for the emergency supply, installation and maintenance of the 38 oxygen plants in various parts of the country.

Newsmen report that the approval in June followed the Presidential Steering Committee’s (PSC) announcement to increase oxygen reserve capacity in the event of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the council meeting, on behalf of the Minister of Health, said the approval of the upward review followed a memo presented by the minister of health to the council.

The meeting was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday in Abuja.

The minister said: “The Minister of Health also presented a memo seeking for an upward review for the emergency supply, installation and maintenance of the 38 oxygen plants all over the country.

“You will remember in June, the Federal Executive Council, actually approved the sum of N5.615 billion to four major contractors for the emergency supply, installation and maintenance of 38 oxygen plants in various parts of the country.

“Regrettably, the four companies also came back recently with the same complaints ranging from fluctuation in the foreign exchange and the scarcity of the material all over the world as a result of COVID-19.

“So, he presented a memo for augmentation in the sum of N836 million and this was also approved today.

Mohammed disclosed that the council also approved revised estimate costs and extension of the contract of the consultants supervising the Bagwai Water Dam Irrigation project from an initial sum of N98 million to N302.8 million.

“The Bagwai Water Dam Irrigation project in Bagwai Local Government Area of Kano State actually was commenced, the initial contract was actually awarded in the year 2005.

“And due to several logistics problems, the project is still on and just recently the FEC actually approved an augmentation of the entire contract and that means also that the mandate of the consultant supervising the construction would also have to be reviewed.

“So, now the total cost for the consultancy is N302. 9 million.’’

Source: (NAN)


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Osun sensitises herdsmen on anti-open grazing law

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Osun Gov. Gboyega Oyetola
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Osun State government on Wednesday in Osogbo began the sensitisation of herdsmen on the recently-passed anti-open grazing law.

Newsmen report that the sensitisation, which had heads of herders groups in the state in attendance, was organised by the State’s Civic Centre.

Newsmen also report that the House of Assembly passed the Bill entitled: “Bill to Regulate Animal Grazing and Establishment of Cattle Ranches and other Related Matters’’ on Aug. 12.

Gov. Gboyega Oyetola, thereafter, signed the bill into law on Sept. 15.

Speaking at the sensitisation, Special Adviser to Gov. Oyetola on Civic Engagement, Mr Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, said the programme was put in place to sensitise herdsmen on the content of the law.

Oyintiloye said the programme was to let the herdsmen understand that the law was not meant to witch-hunt or segregate them in the state.

“There is need for us to sensitise and enlighten them on the content of the law so that they will not run afoul of it and also to tell them that the law is not to witch-hunt them in form of segregation.

“The programme is also to educate them to operate within the ambit of the law and not to claim ignorance of it,’’ he said.

Oyintiloye, who appreciated the herdsmen on the peaceful coexistence with their host communities, appealed to them to try as much as possible to operate within the law.

He said Gov. Oyetola would continue to provide enabling environment for them to operate and transact their businesses.

In her marks, Mrs Abiodun Ige, Special Adviser to the governor on Security, said farmers and herdsmen should continue to live peacefully in the state.

Ige said that the law would take its course on anyone that ran afoul of it.

“What concerns security in this matter is that anybody that runs afoul of the law, the law will take its course.

“If farmers and herdsmen have been working together peacefully without a problem, we will still advise they work together without any problem.

“But we do not want any breakdown of law and order. If there is anything like that, the law will take its course.

“We have advised that if there is any issue, they should report promptly to security agencies,’’ she said.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Dayo Adewole, said that the law was not to fight herdsmen but to sustain the peaceful coexistence between them and farmers.

In his remarks, Mr Mudashiru Toogun, Chairman, Committee on Peaceful Coexistence between herders and farmers, also urged herdsmen to continue to coexist with the host communities peacefully.

Toogun said that with the law in place, anyone caught practising open grazing would face the law.

In his remarks, the Seriki Fulani in the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Babatunde, said herders believed that the law would be of benefit to them.

Babatunde said that herders would educate one another on the law, adding that they would also continue to live peacefully with their host communities.

He appreciated the governor for providing a peaceful environment for herdsmen to operate in the state.

Source: (NAN)


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AGF: Nigerian government may file fresh charges against Sunday Igboho

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AGF Abubakar Malami
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The Federal Government may file a fresh action against Yoruba secessionist agitator, Sunday Adeyemo (also know as Sunday Igboho), following the judgment of Oyo State High Court which awarded N20 billion in damages in his favour.

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York that the federal government had the right to appeal the Judgement or file a fresh charge.

The judge, Ladiran Akintola, had awarded the money as “an exemplary and aggravated damages” against the AGF and the State Security Service (SSS), over the invasion of Adeyemo’s home in Ibadan on July 1.

However, Mr Malami said the position of the federal government on the judgment was about “law and jurisdiction”.

“As far as this matter is concerned, which court is it that has the jurisdiction to determine it? And as you rightly know, obedient to court orders and court judgments,” he said.

“But then you have to understand within the context of such obedience that there are associated rights and interests that are vested in the Federal Government.

“Inclusive of rights of appealing against a judgment, inclusive of the right to file an application for setting aside the purported judgment and order.

“And indeed, inclusive of the possibility of filling a fresh action if indeed the jurisdiction of the court that was alleged to have indeed handed that judgment is an issue.

“So, we are doing the needful in terms of looking at the law as it exists and then working within the context of the law in ensuring that justice is done as far as the contending issues between the parties are concerned,’’ the minister explained.

Mr Igboho’s counsel, Yomi Alliyu, SAN, had filed a N500 billion fundamental human rights enforcement suit against the AGF, SSS and the Director of the SSS in Oyo State over the invasion of his home in Ibadan on July 1.

Mr Alliyu claimed that his client’s house and cars were damaged, while two occupants of the house were killed by SSS operatives during the incident.

However, counsel to AGF, Abdullah Abubakar, had argued that there was no evidence before the court that the blood seen in the video clip tendered by Mr Alliyu belonged to a human being.

Mr Abubakar also said there was nothing in the video clip that showed that the house that was invaded belonged to Igboho or linked the AGF with the invasion.

Mr Adeyemo is still being held in the Republic of Benin where he was arrested some weeks ago while trying to flee to Germany.

Source: (NAN)


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